The measures – the first of their kind in the UK – have been introduced to replace the European Shellfish Waters Directive which has been repealed 22 December.
To continue support for the expansion of Scotland’s shellfish sector towards the industry’s 2020 targets and beyond, and ensure a good quality product which is safe for human consumption, 84 shellfish water protected areas (SWPAs) have been identified.
Steps will be taken to prevent the deterioration of water quality in these areas, and where necessary to improve water quality to a high standard.
Environment and Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “The aquaculture and freshwater fisheries sectors are significant contributors to Scotland’s economy as a whole as well as critical to the economies of many coastal and rural communities.
"We want to ensure both sectors have a successful and sustainable future and ensuring Scotland’s precious marine environment is protected is a key part of that.
“Shellfish production is important for our rural and coastal communities and we recognise the need for clean water in these areas to ensure a high quality product which is safe for human consumption.
“It’s important that we maintain the current high standards of water quality, but also protect against and reduce pollution in shellfish waters. These new measures not only do that, but also significantly expand the area of water protected to enhance support for shellfish life and increase the number of high class edible shellfish products.
“I am delighted that these are the next steps in our distinctive Scottish approach towards the achievement of a sustainable water environment.”